1.2 Million Notebooks Shipped In 2005
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Resellers benefited form a boom in notebook sales in 2005. However, while unit numbers were up, vendors had to work hard to maintain market positions and revenues.

The final 2005 figures from IDC Australia indicate that the Australia Notebook PC market for Q4 2005 saw a 5 per cent sequential lift in the PC market. That correlated to a 37 per cent increase over the year before as Australian consumers went mad over notebooks.

However, while the notebook PC market shot over the million units for the year the final quarter was actually down on IDC’s forecast with both the consumer and corporate markets slower than expected.

IDC has also revealed figures that suggest the widescreen form factor has overtaken it’s traditional 4:3 rival with just “a hair over 50 per cent of all notebooks shipped in Q4 2005” in the widescreen format.

This switch to widescreen is particularly prevalent in the consumer market where 74 per cent of units shipped sporting widescreen displays.

It’s not all about consumer choice though, IDC confirms that the ability of LCD glass manufacturers to cut more widescreens from the ‘motherglass’ is helping to drive cost advantages into the market.

IDC also says that the Consumer and SME Markets are becoming blurred as ‘leakage’ of consumer notebooks into the SOHO and SME markets increases and greying the lines between consumer and commercial devices.

IDC has found that on average 6-7 per cent of dedicated consumer notebooks sold through the retail channel are bought by SMEs.

Barring any major shifts in the exchange rate the sub $1,000 has just about reached its market capacity. The top four notebook vendors, Toshiba, HP, Dell and Acer now all have offerings in this space and virtually all possible Tier 3 retail channels are shipping devices, says IDC.

Michael Sager, IDC Hardware Research Manager, noted that “Toshiba climbed back to the top of the notebook PC market in the fourth quarter, growing its shipments by 16.5 per cent from last quarter. HP fell to second position with 19 per cent share after leading the market for two consecutive quarters.

Dell ascended to third position, posting 35 per cent growth from the same period in 2004. Finishing in fourth position was Acer who has fallen, since gaining the top position in Q2.”

“Rounding out the top 5 was Lenovo who was still largely constricted to the commercial market in the fourth quarter. Apple had a very successful performance in this quarter to grab almost 5 per cent of the notebook market. The seemingly non-stop advertising campaign from Asus seems to be paying off with the vendor climbing to the seventh position in Q4,” noted Sager.

Top 7 Notebook PC Vendor Market Share: Overall Share: